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Nissan Versa Engine Problems



  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Cathy, my wife, who actually drives a Honda Fit, is 5' 2", and she says she is very comfortably able to drive her Fit. Of course, everyone's body configuration is different, with no such thing as "Anyone above this height can see well," so the Fit may not work for you.

    Trying another Versa is a possibility. The chance of your hitting another lemon is pretty small, I would say. On an emotional basis, I personally would have a hard time giving another chance to something that has given me plenty of grief, but on a more objective level, you would have to be might unlucky to hit upon yet another unreliable Versa.

    According to Consumer Reports, the surveyed Versas are reporting the reliability level of "Average." JD Power & Associates has reported basically a very poor reliability score for the Versa. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the earlier production Versas suffered from a number of problems, whereas the later Versas have shown significant quality improvements. It is possible that the samples for JD Power were front-loaded with earlier production units, whereas the Consumer Reports survey samples were more evenly spread.

    Do you need a hatchback? If not, Honda Civic may be a good choice. The Corolla and Matrix Station Wagon will be all-new in the early part of 2008, and they should be pretty good. If you need a hatchback, maybe a Scion can do it for you.

    The Versa is a good car. I drove one a lot in Japan, where it is called the Tiida. It is really too bad that you have had to suffer so many failures in your car.
  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    Does your wife have the 16" wheels on her FIT? I'm wondering if they would make a difference in how the car feels. I love sitting up high in the Versa and not feeling like I'm sitting on the ground.

    I had no idea that the Matrix and Corolla were coming out with new body styles in early 2008. I just did an Internet search and saw that the Corolla is getting bigger and the Matrix is getting lower and becoming a hatchback. I like the look of the Matrix but being a first year model I'm rather leary.

    I tried the Civic last year when I was looking for a car but because it was bigger than previous models I didn't really like it. I'm very much a small car person. I've owned Civics since the 70s and my 2002 was a real disappointment. At 70,000 KM suspension problems showed up and even though Honda paid for the first fix under warranty I had to pay for 2 more before I got rid of it at 125,000 KM. The best car I owed my 1992 and I had it for 10 years.

    I dont need a hatchback but just wanted a change from my usual 4 door sedan. Unfortunately the Scion isn't available in Canada as I've heard good things about it.

    I still like the Versa best. If I could be assured that I'd get a good one I'd buy another in a flash.

    Thanks for the recommendations.

  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    Cathy, sorry that I have been gone for a while.

    My wife liked being able to sit up high on the Versa as well. We actually drove a Tiida (Versa) in Japan, and really liked it. We were looking forward to getting one in the U.S., but were disappointed to find that very few USDM Versas were available with ABS (not an issue for the CDM Versa). That to us made the Versa a vehicula non grata, unfortunately.

    So my wife turned to the Fit, which actually worked out well.

    Hers came with 15" wheels. The Fit sits upright, and that is probably why she, at 5'2", seems just fine. But everyone is different in the most comfortable way to sit in a car.

    How are you doing with your Versa now?
  • Try lightly "power braking" (step down on the gas while still holding the brake). But don't get crazy with this...take the rpm's up to about 1800. Does the noise go away? If so, you may have loose bolts on your flywheel to engine coupling or between the flywheel and torque converter, if they are separate components (I don't know exactly how the Versa engine and converter link up...but sounds like that's where you should look first. I wish you luck. Nissan's "highly skilled" and "trained" technicians are sorely deficient in my opinion. I am a 56 yr. old Mechanical Engineer that grew up with my nose under the hood since I was five. Several times over the years I had to take a car back to the dealer on warrantee issues. After they repeatedly verified their incompetence, I usually fixed the problem myself. In one case I arbitrated a "Buy back". It was a Nissan ! The sad reality is...There are more butchers than mechanics in this world today!
  • Hi Cathy,

    My girlfriend had the same issue as you with the tach jumping. Eventually the car broke down and we had it towed to Nissan. It has been there a few days now and they now are sending reps from Nissan Canada to look at the car as they haven't seen the issue before..did yours ever get fixed?

  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37

    The Service Manager at my dealershop told me that it is normal for the tach to jump when the cruise in on. I don't believe this since it only happens sporadically and usually when I also have a problem with the car going into safe mode on start-up.

    Let me know if they figure out what is wrong with your girl friend's car. They still have no clue what is wrong with mine.

  • I will let you know. Her problem is a bit more severe than yours by the sounds of it. The tach was jumping and the car was jerking but not only when in cruise. We drove from Burlington to Brampton and back (don't know if you know the area) and it got progressively worse. Then when we got back onto her street the engine light came on and the car stopped going! ..we had to tow it to Nissan...they weren't going to give her a loaner/rental because she didn't get the extended warranty but they decided she'll get a rental tomorrow...

    It has been at the dealer since Sunday. They thought they knew what was wrong with it and replaced a part but that didn't do anything. Now they have to have some people from Nissan Canada come in to take a look at the good!
  • Well, it has been over a week and the car is still on the hoist! I don't know... She still has a rental car but I hope she gets the Versa back soon..can't drive a crappy Hyundai forever!
  • She got it back! They still couldn't figure out what was wrong with it and ended up replacing the entire transmission! .. but she has it back now... so that's good...keep an eye on that tack ppl!
  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    How has the car been since the new transmission was installed?

    It warmed up here for a month so I had no problems. Now that it is super cold again my starting problems have returned. When it happened on Thursday I was in the country and luckily was able to get it to start normally after first starting in safe mode. The engine light stayed on. I drove to the dealership in the city and once again the computer reading showed a throttle problem. They documented the incident, shut off the engine light and sent me on my way. The service manager advised me to start bugging Nissan Canada so that is what I'll do next. They didn't even respond to the e-mails that my dealership sent after my December incidents.

    I looked at new cars over Christmas and there was nothing that really interested me. I love the Versa but would sure like to feel that I won't be stranded one day in
    -40. My warranty will be up at the end of 2007 but the dealership told me that they have enough documented evidence that it will honor my current problem after the warranty expires. I hope that's true if I don't have a new car by then.

  • As far as we know it has been fine...but she only had it for a couple of days then she went to Australia for a it hasn't really been tested. The few days that she had it, it was pretty mild anyways but I am confident it'll hold up. I wouldn't be surprised if Nissan disects her transportation and finds out what was wrong. If you see a recall in the next six months that has something to do with the tranny, you can thank her! :P
  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    I phone Nissan Canada on Tuesday and wasn't particularly pleased with the response I received. I explained the problem that I've had for the past year and the woman was very snarky with me. She asked me what I wanted Nissan Canada to do about it!

    I told her that I wanted it fixed but the dealership couldn't find the problem. She told me that it is normal for cars to have trouble starting in winter. I told her that mine starting in safe mode with the engine light staying on was NOT normal. She spoke with her supervisor and then told me that the dealership had to diagnose the problem and then Nissan would help with costs. I went through the song and dance about how they'd already had the car last winter for 2 weeks and couldn't figure it out. I wanted Nissan to help diagnose the problem. She told me that they didn't help with diagnosing and told me to take it to another dealership.

    The conversation I had with her has really soured me on Nissan. It was a "too bad too sad" attitude. She intimidated that I had paid my money and now I'm stuck with it whether it runs or not.

  • That's horrible. I wanted to buy a Rogue but the whole experience with Nissan is making me second guess that. :cry:
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I am so sorry to hear that your car is again having problems, and that now Nissan is treating you really poorly. I know that you love your Versa, but if I were in your shoe, I would be abandoning Nissan altogether. First they gave you a product that is clearly not performing as expected, and second, they had the audacity to tell you that it's tough.

    There would be many people out there who would say that they had never had trouble with their Nissans, and that Nissan had treated them fine. I would not dispute such claim, but in your case Nissan clearly has not treated you right, and your Versa remains unreliable. It would go against my principle to give any further chances to Nissan if I were in your position. They have had more than their fair share of that.
  • I have an 07 Versa SL CVT ....I bought it oct 06 in SD now home in TN I have 80,618 miles on her ...I drive 300+ miles everyday and a 3100 round trip to SD each month... I loved this car was all I wanted and more only problem I ever had with it was the tire sensor which they still do not have one in stock to change it out....untill 3 weeks ago when all of a sudden on my way to work it started scream a 5 peed stuck in 3rd I skipped work and went straight to the dealer....he at first thinks its the TCM or transsmisson computer moduale...nope not that anyways Im sure they are not telling me everything but according to the shop mananger the only CVT trained Tech and also a regional Tech line manager all say its either the pully or the CVT belt ...problem is Nissan will not let you tear one down only replacement...Nissan USA basically said go jump in the lake deal with it yourself...they also said that there was no matenince record on my car.... but carfax has 5 matenence records from the dealer ship plus I have 29 reciepts for oil changes.... I really think NISSAN knows something is wrong with these CVT's and do not want to do a recall... I also found out that the dash panel I had to fight to get replaced was actually a recall....I'm just sick about this i loved this I'm lookin at $4798.04 to replace a trannie.....dont buy a CVT... oh and according to nissan usa service rep thats not that much
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    In Japan there was a recall involving certain lots of the Tiida (Versa in Japan) whose CVT hubs could potentially crack due to material issues. It never became a big deal over there, however. Generally speaking, Nissan CVTs have been reliable, but that is no consolation for any person, such as yourself, who is facing an expensive repair.

    It all depends upon application (driving conditions, etc.), but 80,000 miles is well within the designed product life of today's CVTs. However, the same distance driven in your specific time period may not have been within the designed life parameter of the Versa's CVT.

    Either way, I am very sorry to hear about your challenges.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I almost want to say "what were they thinking" designing a transmission with belts in it! Did they not see this would be trouble, like the rubber timing belts? If timing belts go out at 60K, why shouldn't a transmission with belts go out at 80K? Internal engine parts shouldn't be part of "maintenance"! It's certainly bad news for people who actually keep their cars for a long time. For people who trade every three years or less, it's less likely to be a problem except for people like me who buy recycled cars.

    I also wonder was the dispatcher at Nissan Canada really being snarky, or was she merely asking what would satisfy you as far as compensation? It could make a difference to them whether they were asked to replace an engine, an engine part, or a whole car. I think I'd write out what the problem is, what was done to fix it so far, and what you feel needs to be done. That may be all they're asking.
  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    I find it rather daunting that a belt went in your transmission. Before I purchased my Versa the salesman told me that a belt would never have to be changed in the CVT. Of course he was somewhat right since they just can't change the belt they have to change the entire transmission!

    I agree with you about the cost. That's a lot of money.

  • cathy8cathy8 Posts: 37
    I'd be curious to know what type of problems people were having that indicated there was a problem with the transmission.

    Every once in awhile mine revs really high and seems to speed up when the car should be slowing down. i.e. going up a hill or stopping for a light. I thought the speeding up was my imagination until I ran into a young girl at the dealership who was having the exact same problems as I've been having. Her car too has had problems starting in safe mode, engine light staying on, engine revving fast and car speeding up. Being young and her first car she thought this was all normal until one day she tried to drive in safe mode and couldn't drive more than 20 km/hr.

    We both bought the car when they first came out and the first time hers acted up was the day before mine did in December 06. When we met, I was at the dealership because the Service Manager had asked me to come in because they wanted to try something on my car. His tech contact at Nissan thought that maybe moisture was affecting one of the sensors (don't know which one) so they took it out and checked for signs of moisture on the wire. There was none. Then they packed the wire with oil and reinstalled the sensor.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I almost want to say "what were they thinking" designing a transmission with belts in it! Did they not see this would be trouble, like the rubber timing belts? If timing belts go out at 60K, why shouldn't a transmission with belts go out at 80K?

    The timing belt and CVT belt are both "belts," but the former is a resin/rubber belt and the latter is made of steel. Timing belts are known wear-and-tear materials, whereas the CVT's steel belts are supposed to be semi-permanent.

    Of course, the operative expression is "supposed to," because CVT belts have either snapped or loosened up in some applications. But problems are not unknown for traditional automatic transmissions, either. Given very severe driving conditions and/or a high mileage, anything has a potential of braking. That is why transmission repair shops can make a living.

    Having said that, I do acknowledge that a high lifetime mileage is at this time a yet-to-be-seen zone for many a CVT. CVTs have been successful in Europe and Japan where most cars rarely experience the kind of lifetime mileage figures that are known in North America.
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